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Tuesday November 21st 2017


IC Engine Emissions

Vehicle engine emissions are one of the main sources air pollution. Legislation has been in place to limit the amounts of these emissions since 1968 (in the state of California).  From Euro I (1992) to the Euro VI (2014) regulations have become more and more stringent every year.

There are several types of engine emissions:

  • Emissions from engine breathers.  Resulting from blow-by gases and engine oil evaporation are eliminated by the use of positive crankcase ventilation (PCV). The breather gases are inducted into the combustion chamber via the intake manifold.
  • Fuel tank emissions. Largely controlled by the use of a vapour-absorbing carbon canister piped to the fuel tank and purged by the engine intake.
  • Exhaust emissions. Any exhaust gases produced during combustion. The solution to this problem is not as easy as the previous two.


Exhaust emissions

Engine exhaust emissions are composed of:

  • N2 – Nitrogen (not toxic)
  • CO2 – Carbon dioxides (not toxic)
  • H2O – Water (not toxic)
  • HC – Hydrocarbons
  • CO – Carbon Monoxides
  • NOX – Oxides of Nitrogen
  • SO2/SO3 – Sulphur Dioxide/Trioxide
  • Particulates – Solid Carbon Particulates
  • Lead
  • Oxidants

The amount of each of these elements in the exhaust is dependent on the engine operating conditions. The reason of the formation of each one of the toxic components in this list will be discussed in further detail.

More information on the formation of the exhaust components.







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